Earlier this week, there was word on the street that Sound Transit would be updating the City of Tacoma on the D to M Street project. There were some good details that were revealed and covered here and here by the News Tribune, here on Exit 133 and in raw liveblogging style here.
In short here is what's going on: The lowest bidder wasn't selected, but the bid that was selected was still under the original estimate; August 26th is the date the ST Board will finalize everything with construction starting Mid-September. The savings from the project will go back into ST's subarea pot of money to help save for later projects due to the recession. Oh and there will be road closures and the LeMay has made parking at the Tacoma Dome less convenient.
Following up on WSDOT's nearly million dollar mistake, the Chairwoman of the State Senate Transportation Committee, State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island), is calling for a thorough investigation of the whole ordeal.
And speaking of WSDOT mistakes, the News Tribune covered the story of another $500,000 mess up due to a concrete sound wall not being built well enough.
Our story on WSDOT's continued activity in pursuing the extension of SR 167 was picked up by the Streetsblog Network, a national network of transportation blogs.
And to round up the highway news, there was even a little bit of Tacoma Narrows Bridge action with a recent report showing lower than expected revenues. However, no toll increases are proposed... yet.
There was a lot of hype, anticipation and excitement for a... wait for it... Streetcar meeting!
At the meeting, about 80 concerned and interesting citizens showed up to hear that basically this project hasn't moved forward at all. Seriously, the first 50 minutes were power points on streetcar technology and a sales pitch on streetcars from Transportation Choices Coalition. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Tacoma knows what streetcars are and wants more of them built before we all die.
There were actually a few items worth reporting though and they include:
- A Streetcar Stakeholder Group consisting of people, businesses and other organizations is being formed and will supposedly be revealed to the world next week via a streetcar email list and perhaps even on a City of Tacoma webpage dedicated to streetcars.
- ST is under budget pressure due to the recession and states that the original $80 for this is now $75.6 million.
Well, there's not much news in that article, but I was able to get some more information on what's actually going on from Sound Transit and City of Tacoma. Firstly, the City of Tacoma and ST are on a timeline for a September decision on the project which will supposedly be funded entirely by the City of Tacoma. The engineering of the whole thing is quite challenging, but the stop might have offset platforms in the vicinity between 11th and 12th so as to not impact bus operations. Unfortunately, streetcar operations are going to be impacted and headways will almost certainly increase to every 12 minutes, possibly 15 minutes worst-case.
Yeah, I need an other section, there is so much news. September 20th is the date! The date when there will be no more free parking in downtown, so says the BIA and the TNT.
And last and probably least, Kitsap Transit is buying solar powered garbage cans.
Enjoy the weekend!